Faster than a speeding text mail, stronger than a three piece nicotine patch…It’s a bird; it’s a plane: No, it’s Sherlock Holmes?
The new Sherlock Holmes series debuted on PBS last night, featuring Benedict Cumberbatch as Mr. Holmes and Martin Freeman as Dr. Watson. The contemporary genre of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s duo sticks to the traditional aspects of the original narrative: Holmes resides at 221B Baker Street, landlady Hudson is present, Lastrade and the Moriarty make appearances, and Dr. Watson is returning from the war in Afghanistan as an invalid (this is especially interesting considering Doyle’s original Watson was returning from the Anglo-Afghan war of 1878.) The contemporary twist finds Holmes, texting, blogging, and sending e-mails.
The pilot finds Holmes and Watson investigating a series of alleged suicides that Holmes deduces are the work of a serial killer. Without ruining the plot, let’s say that Moriarty makes his presence known.
Cumberbatch exhibits Holmes masterful power of deduction to the tee. His thoughts are rushing around in his head so quickly that he can barely spit the words out fast enough. This provides a big problem for the viewer because if you do not incorporate your closed captioning on your television, you will miss half of the dialogue. I would have turned the program off had I not had closed captioning. Dr. Watson on the other hand is slow speaking and understated. He almost appears to be shell shocked from the war.
The two actors make for a formidable Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. The BBC has done a fine job of sticking to the basics while throwing in some new angles (Holmes is shown with three nicotine patches on his body in an apparent attempt to overcome addiction).
The game is afoot!
My rating: four out of five stars.